A New Dawn at Siboney
The 10,000 square foot, 800 ton concrete foundation is poured!
Morning people own the world, don’t they? The most important events seem to happen at dawn, and bring undeniable clarity. Wednesday March 3 was one of those days for Siboney.
Before the sun rose on a chilly hill country morning, Mary Anne was already in position. She sat on a limestone ledge, high above the excavation zone, bundled up and ready to witness the major effort about to take place. A goal she has pursued for the winery with determination was about to be fulfilled. Naturally an early riser, a 3AM start was not daunting for her. The symbolism could not be missed. A convoy of 40 cement trucks would soon descend on our location, delivering over 800 tons of concrete. There a team waited, tasked to build a technical slab that is literally foundational for everything to follow. Months of planning, preparation, pandemic delays, detailed site work, and even last week’s epic ice storm would all be buried under this beautiful slab today, and nothing would stop it!
Then the pump truck operator arrived and informed the supervisor that he forgot to bring the battery and gear to operate the boom. D’OH!
Well, when you’ve worked this long and hard to get to this very moment, what’s another two hours! Presently, the missing gear was en route, and after a round of hot chocolate shots for the team, the headlights from the first trucks broke through the darkness. Two at a time, the trucks offloaded their 10 yard cargo into the hopper. The big pump, directed by the now-fully-charged operator and the team handling the hoses, proceeded to pour the 4,000 psi concrete mixture all around the perimeter, bringing the full pad to a consistent level just below the rebar. Once that two hour process was complete, the rest of the concrete would pour, and presto! Slab!
With the rebar now encased, and the concrete setting around the plumbing and other pipes, the team turned its attention to the most technical aspect of the pour. Setting and aligning the 8 stainless steel slot drains in the barrel cellar and production room would occupy many skilled hands. Here, the slopes and creases of the new foundation received the most attention. A rep from Reeh Plumbing of Fredericksburg was on hand for any needed coordination. After 5 hours, the pour was completed. But the work continued and for the rest of the day, the 10,000 square foot slab was fussed over by the team. As the sun climbed higher into the beautiful blue sky, it revealed the superbly set finish. Trowels, skids, polishers, and even a concrete Zamboni applied just the right texture to the entire surface. And let me tell you, it is beautiful!
Blaine Langford – the on-site Supervisor from JK Bernhard – and the team from Lehne construction handled the project like real pros. Mary Anne summed it up this way: “It was exciting to watch the first batch of cement come out of that long orange pipe and fill the first rebar section of Siboney Cellars’ slab. As the team of men worked, each having a specific job, the long-awaited beautiful slab was poured, smoothed over, and polished. So many details went into getting to this place in the building process and that is continuing on as the walls go up, roof is put on, and the building takes life. Onward and upward!”
There’s lots of video footage for The Big Pour on our Facebook page. And we will show more at a Slab Party one day soon. It really is a fascinating part of the process with a ton of artisan work, as Mary Anne said. We did a few live broadcasts by drone from the site throughout the day. For my part, I was quite surprised how many people were genuinely excited and engaged at that early hour to watch us pour concrete! So head over to our FB Page for more. Meanwhile enjoy this epic sunrise over the site and raise a glass to Mary Anne, our intrepid morning person. It is a New Dawn at Siboney.